Launched in 2016 as better.com, by Vishal Garg, the startup closed a $30 Mn Series A funding round by Goldman Sachs, Pine Brook, KCK Group, 1/0 Capital, and IA Ventures in June 2016.
Vishal is the founding partner of 1/0 Capital and CEO of Better. Previously, he was co-head and Managing Partner, ARAM ABS Group and the founder and President & CFO of MyRichUncle, which he founded at the age of 21.
The startup will use the new capital to support the launch and expansion of Better’s home purchase finance product. The startup operates in California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon, Connecticut, Illinois and Washington D.C., and will continue expanding its licensed geographic footprint in 2017. The team is currently hiring for both New York and Gurugram offices across a number of functions.
Nicholaos Krenteras, Partner at Pine Brook said, “Technology has upended personal finance, replacing expensive middlemen with intuitive and transparent online process. The exception has been the mortgage origination business, which has been sheltered by onerous capital, regulatory, and operating requirements. Innovation in the industry has been defined by traditional players patching together third-party services, leading to poor borrower experiences and runaway costs. In contrast, Better built a seamless digital platform from the ground up.”
As the founding partner of 1/0 Capital, an investment holding company focussed on creating and investing in businesses at the convergence of consumer finance, technology and digital marketing, Vishal founded and mentored a number of consumer finance startups. He was motivated to start Better Mortgage after an experience applying for a mortgage that took too much effort for too little payoff.
The mortgage process in the US, typically takes 45-60 days, costs over $5K in administrative fees, and requires over 225 pages of paper and endless phone calls. Better eliminates the complexity and commissions of the traditional mortgage process, and aligns incentives, provides consumers real advice and service. Consumers can get transparent rate quotes in no time, and get approved and lock a rate online, in minutes.
Since its launch in January 2016, Better has funded more than $500 Mn in loans. Currently it has 70 people in New York and a 50 member-team in Gurugram. The Gurugram office plays a key part with 50 members of the operations team based here.
The real estate market in India is expected to touch $180 Bn by 2020 and the housing sector contributes 5%-6% of the country’s GDP. Other startups in this segment include Bankbazaar, Policybazaar, India Housing, etc.